Sunday, 6 July 2008
There's a nice review in The Guardian by Peter Beaumont of a new book on mercenaries called War Plc. He makes the point that warfare has been extensively privatised, with PMCs carrying out many of the tasks that used to be performed by conventional soldiers. The Independent makes a similar point, with a story about how British bases in Afghanistan and Iraq could be protected by private firms. I suspect this trend is going to continue - a theme I'm exploring in my fictional series Death Force which kicks off in January. The 20th century very much belonged to big public armies, but before that warfare often belonged to small, private armies (or at least private-public partnerships). Many people seem to think there is somehting odd about the return of the mercenaries, but you could just as well view it as warfare getting back to normal.